The Synthwave Radioshow
Best track: joy
click album cover to listen
Spoiler alert! this is not a synthwave album. but don't be deterred from reading on as what we have here is one of my more surprising discoveries of recent times. the alchemic use of synths, drums and other sounds has worked tremendously here to give us an album that has a rigid structure, whilst also touching in a few different genres.
he has taken advantage of synthwave knowing full well that it only requires minor tweaks to transform the theme and tempo into something entirely new. don't get me wrong, sometimes it works well but like with everything it does have its drawbacks.
The opening track 'renegade' has a slow build into something that falls between darksynth and futuresynth due to its downbeat tempo and deep underlying tones. i would hazard a guess that artist considers The second track '1985', to be the signature piece on the album and I can see why. it has a catchy beat and some pretty cool experimental synth sounds throughout, whilst also carrying a happier feel to it than the opening track.
unfortunately every album has its track that sits least well with the listener, and for me that accolade goes to 'regeneration'. it falls within the realms of EDM, probably futurehouse. (you have no idea how excruciating it was having to listen to various versions of edm just to try and find a subgenre to call it). fortunately after a brief intermission, we jump into my favourite track of the album 'joy'.
I love the retro vocals that come with this little beauty and the tempo is just right for those moods you get where you feel like banging things a little harder than usual. hopefully you haven't switched off at this point. by the time I reached the track called 'user', I was suddenly reminded of an 'empire of the sun' track that I can't remember right now. the vocals struck me in that they sound so similar. I hope you're not offended by this comment.
the tracks 'searching' and 'partition' give us the most conventional synthwave tracks of the album and we get a nice helping of 80s guitar and a set of heavy beats to accompany. they probably come closest to cybersynth based on sound with a smidge of darksynth because of the slower tempo. I am giving this album a 7/10, lowered slightly only because it touches on genres that I either know nothing about or don't have much time for. a lot must be said of the creativity within the record and I think it's a great idea to experiment with your debut, as has been done here. i'm sure this album will have a big say on the outcome of the next one with regards to direction and I hope the artist behind us3r chooses to stick with the synthesiser as one of their main inclusions. joe ward